Gift Guide - gift ideas for parents, kids, and wanderlusters

Disclaimer: MOST of these gift ideas (with the exception of like, 2 or 3 items) are ethical and eco friendly. I have included links to their direct website and NOT an Amazon page. I *am* a Brave Soles Affiliate, so if you make a purchase through the Brave Soles link toward the end of the post, I will get a small commission from your purchase. Please see my disclaimer page.

We are well into the –ber months and in the Filipino culture our Christmas tree and Christmas carols have been playing since September 1st!

Naturally we’re in the holiday spirit while its still 93 degrees outside!

If you’re planning for presents while its still sweltering outside or rushing to buy gifts for your loved ones the night before your holiday party do not fret! I have some ideas for you!

image via

The best thing about this gift guide is that you can gift these not only for the holidays but you can use these gifts as housewarming, birthdays, or "just because" presents!


Airbnb Gift Card – Right now Airbnb Giftcards are only valid in the US and you can't use it on an existing reservation. BUT once the credit has been added to your account, it will never expire! If you book a new reservation, you can use it as partial payment! // minimum $25

Airline Gift Card – You can use definitely these gift cards for airfare. Some airlines will let you use gift cards to pay for baggage fees, drink/food vouchers, and upgrades! // minimum $25

Audible Gift Card – Instead of mindlessly scrolling on the phone or watching a movie, they can listen to an audio book while they are waiting to board or while on a long flight. // minimum $15

Tech Kit –Instead of just wrapping everything on itself and shoving it into a back pack, a Tech Kit helps you easily organize your chargers, headphones, dongles, and USB cords into elastic loops and keep it together in a streamlined zip pouch. This one from Peak Design lets you fit SO MUCH in such a liiiiiiiiiiiittle bag! Its like a streamlined, weather proof Mary Poppins Bag... but for your cables!

(PS Peak Design is a sustainable company! They have their ENTIRE sustainability strategy on their website. *swoon*) // $60 USD

TRTL pillow– I've talked about these before. But imma say it again -- these are SO MUCH BETTER than those C Shaped travel pillows. MUCH better than those bean pillows. They are literally the best travel pillow I’ve ever experienced in my entire life because your head stays at a proper angle at all times! With a regular travel pillow your head falls forward or its super uncomfortable. Its bulky when you pack it. The TRTL pillow packs up SUUUPER small so you can shove it into a corner of your bag or attach it onto a handle. // $30 for the original $60 for the TRTL Plus Pillow

TRTL Pillow Plus // image via TRTL Global Website

Packing Cubes – Even seasoned travelers with MANY miles and many packing cubes agree that you can never have too many packing cubes! I personally love the ones from Paravel. (And guess what... Paravel? It's sustainable. 😍) I love the aesthetic, the colors, the personalization option, and the little window so you can peek inside without actually unzipping the entire thing. If you don't need a bundle of three or you're not into the look of it, you can purchase individual ones from Peak Design. // Paravel $55 for a bundle of 3, Peak Design $30 for Small Packing Cube $40 for Medium Packing Cube

Paravel Packing Cube Bundle // image via Paravel Website

Peak Design Medium Packing Cube // Image via Peak Design Website

Portable Luggage Scale – Anyone else step on a scale, weigh yourself, grab your bag and step back on the scale, and then do some quick math to determine if your bag will weigh less than 50lbs? Or do you do you tell your husband to pick it up gauge and he does the one-arm-baggage-lift-with-the-double-pump before setting it down and saying “ah, you’re good.”? Instead of all that, you can be TOTALLY SURE with a small portable luggage scale. The digital interface will help take guesswork out and since it only weighs 3.3oz you can bring it with you whenever you travel so you don't accidentally buy too many souvenirs. // $15 from Tarriss Jetsetter

Footrest and Compression socks – Gift your love one’s healthy legs and a comfortable flying experience with compression socks and a footrest. These two help keep swelling at a minimum and prevent restless legs. They can easily fold it up and put it in their purse or carry on once the flight is over. // Footrest - $30 from Sleepy Ride, Compression socks - $20 from TRTL


Family photo session – If the loved one you're gifting is a parent -- think about giving them a family session! A lot of times parents are just surviving - taking things day by day until they go to sleep and have to take things day by day again. Every day is pretty ordinary. Usually it's the parents that are taking pictures of the kids. They are rarely in a picture with them unless its a selfie. A mini session for your favorite little family is the perfect gift. Pictures can be shared from one generation to the next, they capture a sweet moment in time where the family can look back on it and say "oh yeah! this was the year we moved to blahblah and was really into playing blahblah!" // a mini session will usually cost $150ish (but you'd be gifting a family not spending $150 on one person). Click here if you're in the Vegas Area. And here if you need a second option for a Vegas photographer. Click here if you're in the DMV area. Click here if you're in the Fayetteville Raleigh Durham Area.

Mani/Pedi - Gift this to a man or woman. Nothing better than having nice hands or feet! // ~$50 depending on where you go

Experience/Event – The hard thing about the person who is hard to shop for is that they literally have everything. Or they don't need anything. So instead of wasting money on a thing they don't like, are indifferent about, or already have....DO SOMETHING COOL WITH THEM! Depending on your budget you can gift a rage room, axe throwing, skeet shooting, fishing, or if you wanna get really crazy -- a sporting event or driving a luxury car around a race track. // varies depending on what experience you choose

Charity or Donation - The best part of the person who is hard to shop for is that they literally have everything! Or they don't need anything! So donate some money in their name to a charity or cause that is near and dear to their heart. Give the gift of warm fuzzy feelings knowing that they're doing some good on this earth! // price varies

Socks & PJs - Honestly, the presents you HATED as a kid are new, cool presents as adults. Socks and PJs are always welcome because they're cozy and adults spent their money on other things rather than a comfy PJ set and socks. More likely than not, the person you are gifting sleeps in old workout shorts and a shirt from high school. // price varies

Headspace/Calm App - Being a person is freaking hard. Being a functioning person of society is hard. Mindfulness and meditation has been proven to help people feel happier, feel less overwhelmed, deal with stress and anxiety better, have better self esteem, sleep better, and just have an overall better life! There are kids and family meditations that are 1-3 minutes long for younger kids. There are short 3 minute meditations if you're new to meditating and longer ones if you've been meditating for a while. There are Sleepstories to help you unwind at the end of the day. The best part of this is that you can do everything through your phone and some headphones! You can meditate in your car, while you're on the train, on a lunch break, when you wake up... anywhere! // There is a free trial period but after that, both apps are $12.99/month. You can gift a month or three or 12!

Lessons – Help your friend/loved one find a new hobby! Gift them a lesson or two! It could be boxing, learning a new language, pole dancing, crocheting, cross stitching, painting, pottery, a cooking class, power lifting... just to think of a few. Worst case scenario? They hate it but they tried something new! Best case scenario? They found a new found love for something that you introduced them to! // price varies

Subscription service - What's better than one big gift? Many small gifts spread out over a year! You can gift someone a subscription service for anything these days - beauty products, snacks, beer, wine, books, candles, stickers, tshirts, work out gear, socks, house plants, a gluten free box, asian snack box... literally subscription service for ANYTHING. Some of these boxes do get pretty expensive (like $45/month) and sometimes there's a three month commitment to the subscription. If committing to a 3 month or one year subscription box is expensive there is usually an option to just buy one box, which is excellent! // price varies

Coconut Catch-All Bowl - Honestly, being an adult means you find joy in the little things. Like a catch all bowl. Gift this to someone so they can put their car keys, hair ties, jewelry, fruit ... heck, even chips or cereal! These coconut bowls are 100% natural and 100% adorable. They vary in sizes depending on what you're using them for. You can get one with a design on them or get a plain polished one! You can also get them in bundles! // $15 for a Jumbo $12 for a Regular

Door Mat - DOORMATS WITH CUTE SAYINGS THAT ARE MADE FROM COCONUT?! sign me the heck up. I was browsing some home decor stuff and found this New Zealand based company. All their doormats designs and sassy sayings are hand drawn in New Zealand and ethically and sustainably made in Sri Lanka. Just a heads up, shipping could get pretty pricey. HOWEVER, after all the years of feet wiping and mud tracking, you can just throw your mat into your garden and use it as a weed mat or put in your compost pile because its totally biodegradable. // $30 for small $40 for large

Don't Be a Door Mat Door Mat -- funny sayings and totally compostable! via DBAD


Drawing Paper and Crayon Rocks - Drawing paper made from poop and crayons that look like rocks? What could be better? We visited the Poo Poo Paper Park when we visited Thailand. The kids were equally as amazed and grossed out to be touching and cleaning poop to be made into paper. When they received the finished product, they we equally as amazing and grossed out to be drawing on it. The paper does not contain bleach or chlorine so its a safe and memorable gift for the kid in your life. Crayon rocks are made from soy wax grown in the US and tinted with natural minerals. The rocks help strengthen the tripod grip muscles on little hands! // $10 for Crayon Rocks and Journals start at $12.99

Event/Activity – Worst part of gifting a kid? Their attention span is like... zero. So even if you do get them a really cool and expensive toy, they're going to forget about it in a few weeks...or lose it... or break it. Hang out with them instead. Instead of a present, be present! Bring them mini golfing, skating, roller blading, to a cooking class, pottery class, paint class, or to an archery field. You can bring them to an event like a play, the movies, or a sporting event or concert if you're a rich uncle or rich auntie. Either way, they will never ever grow out of hanging out with you. They will grow out of toys and clothes... yes, but never with hanging out with you // priceless.🤪 jk. price varies depending on what you do.

Shoes - Honestly. Kids play hard and beat their shoes up. And they stink. Like, really bad. Do the parents a favor and get the kids a pair of shoes. Personally, you can never go wrong with a classic pair of Vans. They're comfy and wide which is perfect for kid feet. They look cute dressed up. They look cute dressed down. If you pick the right shoe, all you gotta do is take a sponge to the sole and it's like new again! // Vans shoes start at $25

Class - According to USA Today families are spending anywhere between $100 to $499 per month per kid on lessons and sports. I know. Psychopathic, right? You can't blame them... they just want their kids to be well rounded, self motivated human beings! Help the parents out and slide them a $20 to help pay for Little Jayden's Cleats. Or a $50 for Little Everly's Dance Outfit. Or if you're a rich uncle or auntie, pay for a month of soccer. That'd be cool. *hint hint to my sister if you're reading this* // price varies depending if the kid is signed up for fancy sports like golf, tennis, dance, or ice hockey.

Green Toys Planting Kit - Teach young kids responsibility, discovery, and self confidence by helping them grow their own little plant! This kit is made from 100% recycled plastic and contains everything you need to grow a plant from seed! // $25 from Green Toys

Stomp Rocket - This is definitely an outside toy. Stomp Rockets are cool because its group fun. Everyone can take turns stomping on the rocket to see how high it flies and everyone can run and chase after the rocket. Every so often an adult can jump in and really make the rocket fly! // $18 from FatBrain Toys

Solar Charger - If the kid you're gifting is a little older and they're into phones and video games, get them a solar charger! They can easily fold up into a backpack, purse, or pocket. You do, however, need to supply your own cord. This solar charger from Feelee is totally waterproof, so they can lay out the power bank while they're at the beach, at practice, or just playing outside. After the powerbank is charged up they can just plug in and charge their device! Super easy, better for the environment, and low key SUPER COOL. // $37 from Feelee

Subscription - Subscription boxes aren't only for adults there are some pretty cool kid versions out there too! Theres fandom boxes depending on what that child is into, STEM subscriptions, book subscriptions, toy subscription boxes, EVERYTHING! Again, there's usually a three month commitment and prices vary but you always have the option of buying just one. // price varies


Reusables - produce bags, glass food containers, collapsible coffee cups, water bottles, metal straws, beeswax covers/food wraps, and shopping bags.

Essential Oil - I feel like everyone is hopping on the essential oil craze and someone always *needs* oils. You can never go wrong with tea tree, lavender, lemon, or mint! You don't even need an oil diffuser! Just a lil' dab on the skin is perfect. They can also mix the oil into a spray bottle, or in some baking soda. So many uses!

Homesick Candle - Homesick Candles are hand poured and made from soy wax made in the USA. You can purchase a scent by state, country, city, college town, or memory. After the candle is burned, you can reuse the glass container to put stuff in! // price varies

Las Vegas Candle image via Homesick Candle

Shop Credit to an Eco Friendly Shop - So ya'll know I've been highlighting my favorite eco friendly/ethical brands in my monthly Spotlight, which allows me to browse, shop, and connect with some local and international brands. While I'm still discovering new brands I've vetted some of my favorites. A shop credit or gift card to a special woman would be well received:

Brave Soles: an online shop that makes women and mens shoes from recycled tires and ethically sourced leather (which means that the animals were not killed for the leather)

Brave Sole Shoes: Style Camila // image via Brave Soles Website

Esse The Label: A women's online boutique with dresses, tops, and bottoms. They have beautiful silhouettes and neutral colors.

VETTA: Known for their capsule wardrobes, they take FIVE pieces that you can mix and match to make over 30 outfits. You have the option of purchasing an entire capsule wardrobe or single pieces.

Maisha Concept: For more vibrant colors, prints, and flowy styles, Maisha Concept is a fashion, travel, and lifestyle brand that has women's dresses, tops, bottoms, PJs, handbags, and coming soon - jewelry!

Zerrin: Is a curated online shop that has a variety of ethical and sustainable brands. They have everything from women's clothing, face and beauty products, and jewelry and accessories. You can shop also shop by your values or by occasion!

Dorsu: Is an online shop that carries basics for both women and men. Everything is soft, breathable, cotton jersey. They have collections for work, home, and year-round core basics.

Talee Studio: Is online women's boutique that specializes in women's tassel earrings. They have a Wildflower Series and a Saltwater Series. They also do custom works - where you can choose the colors and knot of your tassel earrings.

Talee Earrings in the HATI Knot in the Truffle/Rose Garden colors // image via Talee Studio

House Plant and Cute Pot - FIRST OF ALL. Gifting a plant to someone is very special for the giver because it means that they believe that you can keep a living thing alive. It also symbolizes the care and trust the giver has into choosing the plant for you. So gift accordingly.

Phone Case - Companies like SALT and PELA are changing the game when it comes to phone covers. SALT's factory is close to the Pacific Ocean, they collect ocean plastic, grind it down into pellets, melt it, and smush it into phone cover molds! Each cover is unique, recycled, and better for the planet. PELA manufactures biodegradable phone covers (and other cute accessories too!) and they totally transparent about their business practices and how ethical and sustainable they are. These phone cases are saving the world AND good conversation starters!

SALT Phone Case made from recycled ocean plastic // image via SALT Website

PELA Case made from bioplastic and flax straw material // image via PELA Website

WHOO.. that was a long one. I hope this post gets some creative juices flowing! I hope these gifts are well received and enjoyed! Feel free to send me an email with any suggestions of any other gift ideas!

#holidaygiftguide #ecofriendlygiftideas #ethicalandsustainablebrands #environmentallyfriendlygiftideas #giftideasforkids #givinggiftsatchristmas #giftideasfortoddlers #giftideasforparents #giftideasforthepersonwhoishardtoshopfor #giftideasfortravelers #giftideasforwanderlusters #giftideasformillennials


I'm Justine. I'm married to the military and a mother to brothers. Welcome to my little space on the web!

It's Always Sunny in June is a lifestyle blog. I write about family travel, low-waste living, ethical and sustainable fashion, non toxic alternatives, and clean beauty. I share hilarious stories of life as a mother, wife, and millennial.

I'm just trying to see the world, eat everything without breaking out into a rash, and leave the world a little better than how we found it.


I'm far from perfect, a little sarcastic, a little self-deprecating -  but always awesome and always looking on the sunny side of life! Click around and stay a while! 

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